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Academic Year: Fall/Winter 2013/2014

Term: 2

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Dr. Angela Sheng


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 425

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 23156


Office Hours: Monday 2:30-3:20 pm

Course Objectives:

This seminar aims to familiarize students with critical readings on aspects of collecting, preserving, displaying, and interpreting artifacts and art works in both the private and public contexts and related issues of funding, accountability, and public engagement.

The seminar also aims to empower students to work collaboratively in small groups, undertake independent projects, and make presentations with confidence.

By the end of the course, the studnets should be familiar with the main issues of the development of this field and its future orientations, and they should be able to conceptualize and design an exhibit from different perspecitves of the curator, educator, designer, marketing/public relations/ community coordinator, and project manager/budget.

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:


Gillam, Robyn. 2001. Hall of mirrors, museums and the Canadian public (The Banff Centre Press). Mills: AM21.A2 G55 2001

Macdonald, Sharon. 2006. A companion to museum studies (Blackwell Publishing). Mills ONLINE: AM7.C59 2006 EB

O’Neill, Paul. 2012. The culture of curating and the curating of cultures (MIT Press).

Phillips, Ruth (ed.) 2011. Museum pieces, toward the indigenization of Canadian museums (McGill-Queen’s University Press).



Danziger, Danny. 2007. Museum behind the scenes at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Penguin).

Henderson, Amy and Adrieene Lpois KJaeppler (eds.) 1997 Exhibiting Dilemmas: issues of represenation at the Smithonian (Smithsonian Institution Press). Mills: AM 151 .E96 1997

Herstatt, Claudia. 2008. Women Gallerists in the 20th and 21st Centuries (Hatje Canz).

Michels, Caroll. 1997. How to survive and prosper as an artist (fourth edition).  Henry Holt and company.

OECD.Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. 2001. Managing University Museums. Mills ONLINE XX(1770416.1)

Sherman, Daniel J. and Irit Rogoff (eds.). 1994. Museum culture: histories, discourses, spectacles. (Minneapolis: University of Minneapolis). Mills: N430.M78 1994

Thornton, Sarah. 2008. Seven Days in the Art World  (W.W. Norton and Co.



Muse, the Canadian Museums Association’s bimonthly magazine.[1]

Canada. Canadian Heritage, & N.L. Hushion and Associates. (2005). Towards a new museum policy: Report on the Round Table Discussions, June 28-29, 2005. (Ottawa, Ont.): N.L. Hushion and Associates. Mills ONLINE: AM21.A2 T692 2005 EB

Canadian Museums Association:

American Alliance of Museums:

The International Council of Museums:




[1] Mills Library AM21.A1M8, / v.1:no.1 (1983)-v.11: no.3 (1993). Subscription cancelled. Interlending can obtain articles from later issues at no cost to authorized McMaster users.

Method of Assessment:

Peer evaluation   10%

weekly reports  20%

discussion summary 30%

Final presentation and paper 40%

TOTAL 100%

Students will work in small groups throughout the semester and self-evaluate on Group Performance Tasks, Group Maintenance Tasks, and Self-Centered Tasks, based on a detailed guideline from the McMaster Centre for Leadership Learning that will be given out in class. Group evaluations due on April 7, 2014. 10%

Each week, one group will lead the discussion on the required reading whereby each student of that group will present one topic of the required reading for 10 minutes and hand out a written report of 3 pages. All written reports of the presenters due on the date of presentation. 20%

Each week, each student will also hand in a summary of the required reading. Due on the day of discussion. 30%

Each student will also choose one topic for in-depth research, present research progress in class (10 min) and write a 15-20 page paper (font size 12, double-spaced). Presentation on March 24, 31 and April 7, 2014 and final paper due April 14, 2014, 40 %.

Please consult

Chicago Manual of Style Mills ONLINE Z253 .C53 FOR ALL CITATIONS


To get A+ requires correct spelling and grammar on all written work.

A bonus 5% will be added to the final grade if all works are handed in on time and a 5% will be deducted from the final grade for each work handed in late.


Grading Scale:


A+ 90-100      B+  77-79        C+  67-69                    D+       57-59

A   85-89        B    73-76        C    63-66                     D         53-56

A-  80-84        B-   70-72        C-   60-62                    D-       50-52

F    0-49


Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

This is a self-reporting tool for undergraduate students to report absences DUE TO MINOR MEDICAL SITUATIONS that last up to 5 days and provides the ability to request accommodation for any missed academic work. Please note, this tool cannot be used during any final examination period. You may submit a maximum of 1 Academic Work Missed request per term. It is YOUR responsibility to follow up with your Instructor immediately (NORMALLY WITHIN TWO WORKING DAYS) regarding the nature of the accommodation. If you are absent for reasons other than medical reasons, for more than 5 days, or exceed 1 request per term, you MUST visit your Associate Dean's Office/Faculty Office). You may be required to provide supporting documentation. This form should be filled out immediately when you are about to return to class after your absence.

Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.

Topics and Readings:

Topics include the development of the field as a discipline, cultural heritage, and engendered identities, spatial organization, media and communications, the practice and profession.


To be handed out on the first day of class, January 6, 2014

Other Course Information:


As many more students than the maximum enrolment would like to take this course, those who would not be graduating this year might consider taking this course next year to give priority to those who will be graduating in 2014. As the course demands regular, consistent and intensive participation, if you cannot commit to attend every single class for whatever reason, you should seriously consider ceding your place to someone on the waiting list.